November 8th, 2014, 10:00am – 11:30am
University of Winnipeg, Room 1L13 (Lockhart Hall), 515 Portage Avenue
The Light Bulb Conspiracy uncovers how planned obsolescence has shaped our lives and economy since the 1920s when manufacturers deliberately started shortening the life of consumer products to increase demand. The film profiles several well-known historical advocates, including Bernard London, who famously proposed ending the Great Depression by mandating planned obsolescence, and Brook Stevens, whose post-war ideas became the gospel of the 1950s and helped shape the throwaway consumer society of today.
The Light Bulb Conspiracy also looks at modern examples of planned obsolescence, including computer printers and the controversy over the inability to replace iPod batteries. Environmental consequences are seen most dramatically in massive amounts of electronic waste. The film also features a new generation of consumers, designers and business people who have started challenging planned obsolescence as an unsustainable economic driver.